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It's normal when you start making software to not worry about many things: performance, security, or even the products you make.
Encrypting passwords for use with Python and SQL Server
However, if you have a product that people are starting to use, you owe it to them to make their data safe. Encryption is used to change data so that it cannot be read unless the reader has privileged information.
It is mainly used with passwords so that if your application is compromised by a hacker, they cannot access the passwords that your users have given you. It can also be used with other PII Personally-Identifiable Informationsuch as passport numbers, credit card details, and more. Four words that frequently get confused with one another are encryptionencodinghashingand obfuscation.
Though similar, they have different purposes and behave differently. When we encrypt something, we can decrypt it later.
For this, we use a keywhich is another piece of data that should be kept safe. When we encode something, we can easily decode it back by using the same or a similar algorithm to the one that did the encoding. Encoding is used to change data from one format to another for example, encoding text as ASCII values.
When we hash something, we cannot "unhash" it. You can hash some data to come up with a long string of characters. If you change the data and hash it again, the string changes. Thus it can be used to easily compare data, by just comparing the hashes. When we obfuscate something, it means making it difficult to understand.
For example, some techniques for obfuscation may be minification or changing source code so it looks like it does something different from what it actually does; thus making it more difficult to understand. There are limits to obfuscation, as the content must still be readable by whomever is meant to consume it—for example, obfuscated data must still be valid, and obfuscated computer code must still be runnable by the machine.
If you have a Flask and Python application and you want to start hashing PII quickly so you can't unhash it lateryou can do so by using a Flask dependency that comes with a set of encryption functions: werkzeug. Want to encrypt with Python, but not using Flask? Check out our other blog post. That piece of code will get the username and password from the request's form data, and create a new User object presumably defined elsewhereand save it to the database.
If you are interested in learning much more about Flask and Python, sign up to our mailing list below!Ubuntu Forums Code of Conduct. Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last Jump to page: Results 1 to 10 of Thread: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password. January 11th, 1. Python function to encrypt and decrypt password Hi, I want to write a password to a configfile but instead of writing the password as plain text i would like to save it in a human unreadable format.
Adv Reply. January 11th, 2. Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password You could use the bzip2 module. The security wont be very high, but the password can definitely be stored in a non-human readable form. PHP Code:. January 11th, 3.
Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password Thank you for your respond and the compression works very good.
January 11th, 4. Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password I'll fiddle around with it a bit and see if I can work it out. January 11th, 5.
Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password Okay, I worked it out. Try this: PHP Code:. January 11th, 6. Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password Also, you can store any object as pickle. January 11th, 7.
Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password The problem is that i also have other fields in the configfile and i acces them using the iniparser module. NovaAesa: it still doesn't work but currently i am at work and using python for windows January 11th, 8. Re: Python function to encrypt and decrypt password pmasiar - i think the pickle module stores things as plain text doesn't it?
How To Hash Passwords In Python
So it might pose a security risk.Due to requirements in my environment I need to use SQL Server authentication with my Python scripts instead of Windows trusted authentication. Securing passwords is always an issue when using SQL Server authentication or any application that may store the password in clear text in a configuration file.
Windows file server permissions offer one layer of protection that can prevent wandering eyes from coming across a password, but that may not always be feasible. Once data has been encrypted the key which was used to encrypt the data is required to decrypt it. The key must be preserved or the ability to work with the encrypted data is lost forever. This tip will walk us through how to import the cryptography module and then use it to encrypt one password and store it in a file.
We will then retrieve the encrypted password, use the cryptography module to decrypt the password and then pass it off to SQL Server to be used. Before we demonstrate the process we need to have a brief discussion about binary files and how to work with them in Python. This presents some problems because we cannot write binary to a text file unless we convert it to UTF For this tip we will be taking the binary object and using the native capacity of writing in binary to a binary file rather than a text file.
For storing a single password in a file this is more than adequate but for those who will want to store dictionaries, lists, tuples, and so forth, investigating the pickle module is advised but not covered in this tip. To install the library we use the Python pip installer. For those not familiar with pip you can find more information on pip and the Python package index here: www.
Once the library is installed an easy way to validate its ready is to start using it. An important thing to note is that the printed results return a byte literal. As we move forward this will present some challenges that need to be accounted for such as figuring a way to write the data to a text file. Now that we understand how to create a key we can now use it to encrypt a password and decrypt it.
The following chunk of code creates an encrypted password by using the previously generated key. Before doing that, let's validate that we can return the password previously encrypted with the following statement:. Now that we have the encrypted password as a byte literal we can store that object in a file.Encryption is a must when dealing with sensitive data or passwords.
In a previous blog post we've looked at encrypting using werkzeugwhich comes with Flask. In this post we'll take it further and use a popular encryption library called passlib.
Not relying on werkzeug means you can take anything in this blog post and apply it to any Python app—and not just Flask apps. I'd recommend reading my previous blog post on encryption for a general overview regarding what encryption is and why it's important.
This is also another good, quick guide on cryptography. There are many different hashing algorithms, and we are constantly searching for and coming up with new and better algorithms. Some that were used in the past are now considered unsafe, and the most modern ones are generally considered uncrackable. Hashing vs. A simple explanation is that if you encrypt something, you can decrypt it. If you hash something, you cannot 'unhash' it. For passwords, we hash them because we don't want anybody to be able to turn them back to readable text.
Read on to see how to check a hashed password is correct! These are different in their hardware requirements, speed, and implementation. However, they are all extremely difficult to crack. I cannot recommend learning everything about how hashing algorithms work, because it is a very complex field full of mathematics! A very modern, heavily scrutinised, and seemingly well rounded algorithm is Argon2. However, you may find some issues in some operating systems when it comes to using it.
Since the biggest problem with encryption and hashing is that software developers don't use it enough, any of the choices is better than none of them. We'll be using passlib as our Python library to implement hashing. They have an excellent guide on how to pick a hashing algorithm. You may get some warnings about missing libraries. These would be used for other encryption and hashing algorithms.
If you want to use something other than PBKDF2, please look at the optional libraries section in the Passlib documentation for information on which one s you need. Passlib works by defining a context.
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The dark mode beta is finally here. Change your preferences any time. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I have got a python script which is creating an ODBC connection.
The ODBC connection is generated with a connection string. In this connection string I have to include the username and password for this connection. Is there an easy way to obscure this password in the file just that nobody can read the password when I'm editing the file? Base64 encoding is in the standard library and will do to stop shoulder surfers:.Python Quick Tip: Hiding Passwords and Secret Keys in Environment Variables (Mac & Linux)
Douglas F Shearer's is the generally approved solution in Unix when you need to specify a password for a remote login. You add a --password-from-file option to specify the path and read plaintext from a file. The file can then be in the user's own area protected by the operating system. It also allows different users to automatically pick up their own own file. If you are working on a Unix system, take advantage of the netrc module in the standard Python library. It reads passwords from a separate text file.
The best solution, assuming the username and password can't be given at runtime by the user, is probably a separate source file containing only variable initialization for the username and password that is imported into your main code.
This file would only need editing when the credentials change. Otherwise, if you're only worried about shoulder surfers with average memories, base 64 encoding is probably the easiest solution. ROT13 is just too easy to decode manually, isn't case sensitive and retains too much meaning in it's encrypted state. Encode your password and user id outside the python script.
Have he script decode at runtime for use. Giving scripts credentials for automated tasks is always a risky proposal. Your script should have its own credentials and the account it uses should have no access other than exactly what is necessary. At least the password should be long and rather random. How about importing the username and password from a file external to the script?While cryptography is generally perceived as a complex field, there are tasks based on it that are a part of everyday lives as software developers, or at least they should be, to ensure a minimum level of security in your code base.
This article tries to cover one of the most common task — hashing passwords — that can help make your software resilient to attacks.
While software written in Python will hardly suffer from exploitation, such as buffer overflows unless there are bugs in the interpreter or compiled libraries you rely onthere are still a whole bunch of cases where you might be leaking information that must remain undisclosed.
Avoiding storing passwords in plain text is a known best practice. Storing passwords is a pretty standard practice, and usually, they are stored as a hash plus some salt. Being randomly generated, it ensures that even hashes of equal passwords get different results.
The Python standard library provides a pretty complete set of hashing functions, some of them very well-suited to storing passwords. Python 3 introduced key derivation functions, which are especially convenient when storing passwords. The first thing it does is generate some random salt that should be added to the password. It then extracts a string representation of the hashed salt as a set of hexadecimal numbers hexdigest.
Is there anyone with emojis in their passwords? In the end, the function joins together the hash with its salt. So it takes two arguments: the hashed password and the new password that should be verified.
If the resulting hash matches with the hash part of the previously stored password the characters after the saltit means that the two passwords match. This book will help you acquire the skills needed to write clean code in Python and develop applications that meet your needs. How can passwords be stored without a risk of leaking them? How to do it… Python 3 introduced key derivation functions, which are especially convenient when storing passwords.
Maybe you end up working in another language, or maybe passlib doesn't support the version of Python you are using in the future.
Because of this, you should know at least at a high level, how it works. To begin, you can probably understand why it is important to encrypt passwords to begin with.
If your database stores plain-text passwords, at the very least, you are going to see the passwords yourself, and so will anyone who has access to your server. In a perfect world, no one would invade a user's privacy, but this world is not perfect. Not only might someone who works for you steal user passwords, a hacker might, or even the host to your server might, if you are using a virtual private server, or shared hosting.
So then how might we obscure passwords? Obscuring original text is easy enough, we can right a randomized algorithm that does this. The problem is, with passwords, we actually need to be able to validate what a user enters in the future as the original password.
One of the more primitive measures taken was simple password hashing. This was where a hash function was applied to what the user input, and that hash was what was stored as a password.
So that works pretty well. If you just saw that hash in a database, you'd have no idea what it meant. The problem, however, arises with the following: Run the script two times, or five times. You will find that the output is the same every time. Initially, with validation in mind, you may think well isn't this a requirement anyway?
How else can we achieve validation? The problem here is that people created massive hash tables, notably referred to as hash-lookup tables, where you could just search for the hash, and then find the corresponding plain-text password. You could also create one yourself, by just generating hashes for combinations of characters. It takes a bit longer to generate the tables.
These tables are big, but not too big to store on your laptop or netbook. What we need instead, is a way to generate unique hashes, yet find a way to validate that hash by asking merely if two hashes came from the same input, despite being very different hashes. Before arriving there, however, people came up with an easier solution: Why not place a secret pattern of text into every entered password, that only we the server knew.
This is what is known as "salting. Salting, while still used, initially started out pretty simple. Here's an example of how salting works, building off our last example:. Here, the only major difference is we just have a salt that we append to the very end.
Then, any time the user enters their password, we append the salt, hash it, and then compare those hashes. Now, the salt can be added anywhere. Maybe it's input right in the middle, maybe at the beginning, maybe at the end.
May you have a salt at the beginning, another for the middle of the password, and one more at the end even.